Dieting and weight gain during pregnancy

Weight gain during pregnancy has a long-term effect on the health of both mother and infant. Proper nutrition during pregnancy will go far in insuring the future health of infants.

Women who have a history of dieting prior to pregnancy may feel that pregnancy gives them an excuse to indulge their appetite, while others significantly restrain their dietary intake.

Suggested pregnancy-associated weight gains are based on prepregnancy weight. Insufficient weight gain may interfere with proper growth of the fetus; excessive weight gain increases the risk of a number of pregnancy related complications. Women who gain the most during pregnancy are more likely to retain the weight nine months after delivery.

Health care providers encourage pregnant women who are smokers to give it up for the well-being of the infant. This may also encourage unwanted weight gain. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53(11)849-53, 1999). Editorial comment –This study points out the importance of high quality diet during pregnancy. While mothers may gain a bit of weight when they stop smoking, the small weight gain is better than smoking’s effect on both mother and baby.

Copyright 1999 Phylis A Austin


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